Dark Continent is a searching history of Europe's most brutal century. Stripping away the comforting myths and illusions that we have grown up with since the Second World War, Mark Mazower presents an unflinching account of a continent locked in a finely balanced struggle between tolerance and racial extermination, imperial ambition and national self-determination, liberty and the tyrannies of Right and Left. It is an attempt to trace the origins of "Western values"--the ideological terms we now live by--and to ask what remains of the struggles of previous generations.
Instead of seeing Europe as the natural home of freedom and democracy, Mazower argues that it was a frequently nightmarish laboratory for social and political engineering, inventing and reinventing itself through war, revolution and ideological competition. Fascism and communism should be regarded not as exceptions to the general rule of democracy, but as alternative forms of government that attracted many Europeans by offering different solutions to the challenges of the modern world. By 1940 the prospects for democratic government looked bleak, and Europe's future seemed to lie in Hitler's hands. Yet freedom was given another chance with the defeat of the Nazi New Order, and it prevailed decades later across the continent with the collapse of the Iron Curtain.
Mazower's extraordinarily skilled and insightful analysis provides us with a new perspective on the events of the century now drawing to a close. From the beginnings of the First World War to the establishment of the European Union, he depicts a battle for hearts and minds that reached more deeply than ever before into the daily lives of ordinary people. Vividly written and vigorously argued, Dark Continent presents both a comprehensive history of twentieth-century Europe and a provocative vision of its future.
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As the European Union introduces a common currency to world financial markets, Mark Mazower's Dark Continent critically examines the notion of "Europe." The Euro notwithstanding, Mazower argues that the "'Europe' of the European Union may be a promise or a delusion, but it is not a reality." Renouncing the notion of an essential "Europe," Mazower instead explores the conflicts which dominated the continent in the 20th century and the social value systems which informed them.
Mazower orders his examination chronologically, commencing with the collapse of Europe's continental empires following World War I and the initial European experiments in democracy and national self-determination which followed. He continues with analyses of state interventions in family health and the importance of healthy progeny, the financial crisis of the 1920s, the Hitler regime, the transformed democracy that emerged following World War II, the gradual erosion of the social state in the 1980s, and, finally, the collapse of communism. He consistently displays a firm grip of European history, directing his argument to readers with a foundational knowledge of the events that shaped 20th century Europe rather than historical novices unfamiliar with the period. Provocatively insightful, Dark Continent makes a convincing argument for a European 21st century characterized by continuity and harmony through divergence. "If Europeans can give up their desperate desire to find a single, workable definition of themselves," Mazower concludes, "they may come to terms more easily with the diversity and dissension which will be as much their future as their past." --Bertina LoefflerFrom the Publisher:
"Mazower's splendid book...makes a convincing case for a different version of 20th-century European history. 'We are quite wrong,' he writes, 'to read the present back into the past, and assume--for instance--that democracy must be rooted deep in Europe's soil.'"--Tony Judt , The New York Times Book Review
"If it's the business of historians to remember what others have forgotten, Mark Mazower
has done his job in Dark Continent."--Roane Carey, Newsday
"Timely, argumentative, and ultimately optimistic; Mazower is particularly good at illuminating the substance of beliefs beneath ideologies."--The New Yorker
"A masterful account of Europe's cursed century . . . Well written, with an excellent grasp of sources in several languages, this is a landmark study for the general reader." --Kirkus Reviews
"Magnificent . . . an elegant plea for the defence of all that is best in the European tradition, and a reminder of what can happen if that trust is broken."--Alexandra Richie, The Observer
"Brilliant but disturbing . . . if this superb book is a frightening reminder of how fragile democrary has been, we have lived through enough events in recent years to know how precious it is too."
--Orlando Figes, The Times
"Mark Mazower has already proved that he is a historian of great gifts . . . In Dark Continent he jumps from the microscopic to the telescopic with breath-taking self-confidence. His bold leap is entirely justified by his acheivement . . . He leaves us, in this wonderful book, with an account of our century that anyone who takes an interest in Europe's present and future will enlarge their minds by reading." --John Keegan, The Daily Telegraph
"[A] fascinating new polemic about twentieth-century Europe . . . this should be a deservedly popular book."--Mark Archer, Financial Times
"Mark Mazower has provided a rich mixture in his highly individual and intelligent interpretation of Europe's twentieth-century history."--Richard Crampton, The Times Literary Supplement
"It is altogether remarkable that Mark Mazower, one of our brightest young historians, has managed to write about this subject [modern Europe] in such a way that you want to turn the pages . . . valuable and well-written."--Norman Stone, The Guardian
"Exemplary...Written with verve and splendidly argued"--Richard Gott, New Statesman
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Descrizione libro Knopf. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0679438092 This is a hardcover book with dust jacket. Codice libro della libreria 332.P13
Descrizione libro Condizione libro: New. Gift Quality Book in Excellent Condition. Codice libro della libreria 36SEQU000SI0
Descrizione libro Knopf, 1999. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 1 Amer ed. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0679438092
Descrizione libro Knopf, 1999. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P110679438092
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